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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Poll finds students already thinking of 2008 elections

    Although one political science professor said a recent straw poll on campus is inaccurate, organizers of the poll said their aim was to get more students involved in the elections.

    The straw poll conducted last week gives a sample of student opinions on issues but is not scientifically accurate, said Barbara Norrander, a political science professor.

    But Michelle Gregory, president of Pi Sigma Alpha – the political science honorary that conducted the informal poll – said the poll was a way to get students thinking about political issues.

    The straw poll asked 265 students around the UA Mall about their opinions on propositions 107, 202 and 103, and potential presidential candidates, said Gregory, a political science senior.

    Results showed 80 percent in opposition to Proposition 107 to amend state marriage laws, 76 percent in favor to Proposition 202, which would raise the minimum wage and a fairly balanced opinion on Proposition 103, which would make English the official language of Arizona, according to the poll.

    “”I was intrigued by the close division of the English-as-the-official-language issues,”” Gregory said. “”I was not surprised by the results for the minimum-wage proposition because we’re all poor college students thinking of our own wallets rather than small business.””

    Of the candidates written onto the ballots, 59 students listed John McCain as their favorite pick for president, followed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with 39 and 32 votes respectively.

    Also receiving votes were Al Gore, Condoleezza Rice and even Britney Spears, Gregory said.

    “”I think students are more engaged this year than previous midterm elections,”” Gregory said. “”But it’s hard to say how many students will show up at elections.””

    Elections have traditionally lacked real student presence, said Matthew Boepple, an Arizona Students’ Association director.

    “”The turnout hasn’t been all that great in any election,”” Boepple said. “”It should be, but I believe we’re the lowest in the age bracket.””

    The low number of student voters is precisely why students aren’t high in the politicians’ priorities, said Associated Students of the University of Arizona President Erin Hertzog.

    “”I definitely believe this is a very important year because the entire Legislature is up for re-election, and they’re the ones who decide how much tuition students will be paying,”” Boepple said.

    Students can get their voices heard by voting, Hertzog said.

    “”This election has more to do with students than presidential elections because it has more to do with students’ educations,”” Boepple said.

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